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Arkham City Day#7: The Race for the Cure

Day#7 is just solidifying my opinion of the game. On the plus side, the core fighting and predation are good. On the minus, the narrative continues to scrap along the bottom of stupidity, this time by introducing things that the player hasn’t been prepared for at all and expecting you to buy it or care. And the boss battle this time isn’t as horrible as the nadir of what Batman bosses have been, it’s still annoying formulaic compared to the heights the regular gameplay offers. Spoilers within.

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Arkham City Day#6: A Trial in Many Senses

I had a long time away from games as I watched all of The Wire recently (very good, by the way), so it’s a return to Batman with fresh eyes. Verdict so far is still the same: great moment to moment gameplay, awful boss battles, and dumb dumb narrative. There is one great story cut scene in this session, but overall it’s a gimmicky set of levels and the story is largely both obvious and ridiculous. It’s a relatively self-contained plot though and the fighting and predation are still excellent, so I’m hoping I can leave this behind. Spoilers within.

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Arkham City Day#5: Night at the Museum

Day#5 is probably the most reminiscent of Arkham Asylum so far and that’s a mostly good thing. There’s a nice setting in the middle surrounded by an OSSIM predation scene and a couple of boss fights — one decent and one stupid. Still, it’s not even close to the stupidity of the bosses of the original game, which if you read my post on it, you will know I thought was the single worst thing in an otherwise excellent game. But, and I know I keep saying it, this story is just SO STUPID it’s hard to ignore. I hit my tenth supervillain this session — MY TENTH. Need I say more. Spoilers within.

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Arkham City Day#4: Out in the Cold

Day#4 is I think the rhythm of this game, for better and for worse. I have to do a LOT of running around the world, and while it is less annoying than I found it in the first session, it’s full of tons of distractions that pull me off of the plot. And the plot itself is just nonsensically stupid. Thankfully, you can just ignore it and treat the game as a set of fights, stealth, and mini-quests. And as that, the game is very good. Or at least it’s very good until you hit the one room where you have to use an awkward mechanic or solve a hintless puzzle. Mixed bag I guess is what I’m saying. Spoilers within.

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Arkham City Day#3: On the Catwalk

Day#3 is a return to form for Batman, and I like it. In the constraints of a limited environment (i.e. not wandering around the city), the brawling and predation really come to the fore, and it shows off all of the strengths of the franchise. I also get my first taste of Catwoman play, and that too is good. Even the local narrative is better, despite the fact that the story overall is quite stupid. As a return to form, this is exactly what I was looking for. Spoilers within.

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Arkham City Day#2: The Big Bad City

Day#2 of Arkham City is a bit disappointing, honestly. The combat and predation is as cool as ever, and there are some really nice narrative bits in it. But there’s a central thing bothering me. They switched from a story game to an open-world one. There are just tons of side-quests and challenges to distract you from the main point, and I don’t like it. The game already feels bloated and scattered and I can’t help but say the game is weaker for it. It’s good, but not as good as the original, and I’m getting a little worried. Spoilers within.

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Arkham City Day#1: Holy Plot Deluge, Batman!

Day#1 with Arkham City is a breath of fresh air in terms of basic gameplay. It (quite literally) drops you right back into the best parts of RockSteady Batman goodness. Not that all is perfect — the story is particular is a jumbled, overclocked mess and there are some weird set pieces. But you just can’t deny the basic Batman goodness of fighting a crowd of goons or hanging from a rafter to attack an armed thug, and Arkham City is looking to be a really beautiful setting for a game. Spoilers within.

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Deus Ex Human Revolution Day#1: Revolting

I have fond memories of Deus Ex just like everyone who tried it. That makes my first day with Human Revolution so strange. I kind of hate it. Maybe it’s the age, but the main character is so boring and the plot is so clich√©d that I can barely stand it. I’m surprised to say it, but I don’t think this game is interesting at all. But it’s one day, and despite my massive amount of travel and lack of gameplaying, I’ll give it a few more sessions before I make a judgment. Spoilers within.

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Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Day#1: Bentornato Ezio

LA Noire hurt and made me need to play something I knew would be fun, so I went back to a safety game: Assassin’s Creed. Brotherhood’s been sitting on my shelf for a while, so it seemed like a good palette cleanser. And day 1 has borne out my expectation. The Ezio stuff is not as good as AC2. Still,¬† it’s the same kind of fun I’m used to. Session 1 has a few new elements, but they don’t matter. It’s the parkouring and the stabbing from the shadows that I expected. The real world stuff is even more awful than I remembered, but running around Renaissance Italian has not ceased to be cool. Spoilers within.

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LA Noire: Final Smack

I didn’t complete LA Noire, but I played it for something like ten days, so I’m calling myself qualified to review it. Short answer is for all the new and experimental stuff that the game tries, it fails in exactly the same way most Rockstar do. The mechaincs are repetitive, the story is not interesting, and the game is too damn long. I kind of want to finish it, but I cannot stand another second of repetitive case work. New, entertaining game for me next. Details within.

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